Top Five Invented Languages

Humans have been inventing languages for hundreds of years. The first record of a made up language dates back


to the twelfth century when German nun Hildegard von Bingen, created a language called Lingua Ignota. Since her time, hundreds more have been brought to life as either a means to communicate, for artistic creation, to give life to fiction, or for philosophical or religious reasons.

Although many of the constructed languages have disappeared, others have endured time and are almost, if not as, complex as many of our natural languages.

Invented by L. L. Zamenhof in the 1880s, Esperanto is perhaps the best-known invented language. It may not have achieved its aim world peace and unifying the world under one language, but at its height it had as many as two million speakers. In 1954 Esperanto was recognized by UNESCO and today it is estimated that about 50,000 speak the language. It is a featured language in Facebook, Skype and Google Translate, and Wikipedia has 150,000 entries in Esperanto. Though many consider it a failed language, Esperanto has more speakers than six thousand of the languages spoken around the world today.

When it comes to fiction, no other language is as popular as Klingon. Created by American linguist Marc Okrand, it is the language spoken by the Klingons in Star Trek. The Klingon language has a complete grammar and vocabulary, an institute in which people can learn the language, a dictionary that has sold over 300,000 copies and even its own translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Philologist and writer, J. R. R. Tolkien invented Elvish, a complete language for the Elves tribes that first appears in his novel The Hobbit. His creation was a complex language based on

Welsh and Finnish, which was made

fully functional by hundreds of fans adding their own words and phrases.

When Geroge R. R. Martin wrote his epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, he invented a few words and phrases to give life to the Dothraki people. But it was David J. Peterson, a U.C. Berkeley-trained linguist who designed the entire Dothraki language – which includes a 300 page grammar and dictionary – for the HBO show based on Martin’s books, Game of Thrones. The popularity of the show has resulted in Dothraki being heard by more people each week than Yiddish, Navajo, Inuit, Basque, and Welsh combined.

Paul Frommer, a professor at the USC Marshall School of Business with a doctorate in linguists created the Na’vi language for James Cameron’s film Avatar. This language, complete with nouns, adjectives and verbs, is quite complex and is considered a fully learnable language.

The Economist
The New Yorker
The Huffington Post
Oxford Dictionaries

A Multi-Language Website in Minutes: Dakwak’s Easy Service Now Partners with Gengo’s Human Translation API

Gengo, the leading provider of API-driven professional translation services, today announced a partnership with web site translation technology provider dakwak. Given Gengo’s mission to help the world communicate freely, this partnership is a huge step forward, enabling individuals and businesses to reach audiences around the world.

Gengo’s translation services

break down the language barrier and allow users to translate hundreds of thousands of words with ease. With 3 quality tiers, a 7,000+ translator team, and 53 different language pairs, Gengo has helped businesses and individuals expand to virtually every country.

Robert Laing, CEO of Gengo, says “Dakwak have created a simple, powerful service to publish any website in multiple languages easily. They make it easy for anyone to go global. And now their customers get instant access to high-quality translation powered by Gengo. It’s a great match.”

Dakwak’s technology lets web sites localize without any technical steps. A unique admin center gives users control over what and how pages get translated, delivering a fully localized page catered to the target audience.
“The key to globalization is real, natural sounding translation. Machine translation is often incomprehensible and can be misunderstood,” said Waheed Barghouthi, CEO of Dakwak. “Gengo provides the human touch that is necessary for a truly localized experience.”Translation quality can be chosen from free machine, in-house translation, or professional translation through Gengo.

Gengo and Dakwak’s partnership aims to provide small to medium businesses an easy solution for globalization. With Dakwak’s translation management tools and Gengo’s translation team, anyone can easily handle all aspects of the normally complicated localization process.

“Our mission at Gengo is to help everyone communicate across languages.” said Robert Laing. “Working with partners like Dakwak is a great step towards that goal.”

Company profile:
For more information on how to get started with dakwak, visit
To learn more about translation through Gengo, visit


Founded in December 2008, Gengo aims to eliminate the global language barrier by being the easiest way for companies to communicate via innovative technology, ability to scale, and high quality translation. Clients include Rakuten, Alibaba, and YouTube.

Gengo is a privately held company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has an office in San Mateo, CA.


Founded in July 2010, Dakwak

helps businesses in going global by effortlessly launching multilingual websites with no technical involvement.

Dakwak is a privately held company headquartered in Jordan, and has an office in Manhattan, NY.

Industry-Related Issues Affecting Freelance Translators

As of last year, the language services market was worth approximately US$33.5 billion and is currently growing at a rate of 12% a year. It is a hugely diverse market that is able to continue growing in the face of economic recession.

Freelance translators play a vital role in this industry and form the largest single group of stakeholders. But because they are at the end of the supply chain and tend to work disconnected from each other, their concerns are rarely heard.

Common Sense Advisory, an independent market research company, aims to change this by publishing “Voices from the Freelance Translator

Community,” a report detailing the issues freelance translators face.

The report, which surveyed 3,165 freelance translators worldwide found:

  • Freelancers receive approximately two-thirds of their income from translation agencies, and about a third from direct clients.
  • Freelancers struggle with payment issues; over 34.7% said they had not been paid by translation agencies for work completed.
  • 40.3% of freelancers had turned down jobs from a translation agency because other translators had warned them about the agency’s reputation.
  • 81% of surveyed freelancers said they had turned down work because the agency’s rates were too low.
  • 33.5% of freelancers do not regularly use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools.
  • 64% of all those surveyed believe CAT tools are too expensive and should cost less than US$300.In order to be heard and help the language services market progress, Common Sense Advisory recommends freelance translators to:
  • Be vocal with technology vendors, giving

    them feedback on their tools.

  • Get more involved in associations.
  • Participate in online communities.
  • Don’t fear technology advances in the translation industry and learn to work with them to help the market evolve. Machine translation and crowdsourcing is not likely, in the near future at least, to make human translators obsolete.
  • Embrace change, think creatively and communicate with customers.Read report hereSource:
    Common Sense Advisory

“Lolz”, “photobomb” and “hackathon” Among Latest Additions to the Oxford Dictionary

There are approximately half a million words in the English language and every year new ones are created. Some will make it into the Oxford English Dictionary and others will not. For a word to be included, it has to have been used extensively by people, for example in newspapers and novels.

Updated four times a year, here is a list of some of the words that were added to Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2012:

Chatbot (noun): a computer program designed to stimulate conversation with human users, especially over

the Internet.

Deets (plural noun): details.

Forumite (noun): a person who posts comments in a particular Internet forum, typically on a regular basis.

Hackathon (noun): an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

Lolz (plural noun): fun, laughter or amusement.

Mumblecore (noun): a style of low-budget film typically characterized by the use of non-professional actors and naturalistic or improvised performances.

OH (noun): a person’s wife, husband, or partner (used in electronic communication).

Photobomb (verb): spoil a photograph of (a person or thing) by suddenly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken, typically as a prank or practical joke.

Tweeps (plural noun): a person’s followers on the social networking site Twitter.

Twitterpated (adjective): infatuated or obsessed.

Soul patch (noun): a small tuft of facial hair directly below a man’s lower lip.

Veepstakes (noun): the notional competition among politicians to be chosen as a party’s candidate for vice president.

2012 also saw the creation of new words, some inspired by the Olympic Games and economic recession. The following are words that made the Oxford English Dictionary shortlist for potential inclusion in the future:

Omnishambles (noun): This word was also named Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012. Omnishambles is a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations. The word was created by the writers of the satirical television program The Thick of It.

Eurogeddon (noun): the potential financial collapse of the European Union countries that have adopted the euro, envisaged as having catastrophic implications for the region’s economic stability.

Mobot (noun): a characteristic gesture as performed by the British long-distance runner Mo Farah on winning the 5,000 and 10,000 meters events at the 2012 Olympics, in which both arms are arched above the head with the hands pointing down to the top of the head to for a distinctive ‘M’ shape.

YOLO (acronym): ‘you only live once’, typically used as a rational or endorsement for impulsive or irresponsible behavior.

Huffington Post
Oxford Dictionaries

Babies Start to Learn Language in the Womb

Researchers from the Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Washington and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered language learning begins while we are still in our mother’s womb.

The researchers believe language learning begins at 30

weeks of gestation, when a fetus develops the sense of hearing. During the last 10 weeks of gestation -pregnancy usually ends at week 40 – a fetus can hear its mother speaking and starts to learn the variations in her words, initially vowel sounds. Just hours after birth, newborns can recognize their native tongue, differentiating between sounds

in their native language and sounds in a foreign language.

In the study, 40

newborns from the United States and 40 from Sweden (all between seven hours and three days old) were made to listen to

vowel sounds from their native language and non-native language. A newborn’s interest and response to the sounds was measured by the time he/she sucked on a pacifier that was connected to a computer. Babies will suck on a pacifier for longer when exposed to something unfamiliar. Both in the United States and in Sweden, newborns sucked on pacifiers for longer when they heard vowel sounds from their non-native language compared to when they heard sounds in their mother tongue.

Previous studies have shown babies begin to discern between language sounds in the first few months of life; but this is the first study to demonstrate language learning actually begins in utero.


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